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Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765

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Electric Power Systems Research

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New digital reference current generation for shunt active

power lter under distorted voltage conditions
Mohamed Abdusalam a , Philippe Poure b, , Shahram Karimi a , Shahrokh Saadate a

Groupe de Recherche en Electrotechnique et Electronique de Nancy (GREEN), CNRS UMR 7037, France
Laboratoire dInstrumentation Electronique de Nancy (LIEN), EA 3440, Universit Henri Poincar Nancy Universit, B.P. 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre ls Nancy Cedex, France

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 21 December 2007
Received in revised form 30 July 2008
Accepted 13 October 2008
Available online 19 December 2008
Active lter
Harmonics isolator
Distorted voltage conditions
Self-tuning lter
Modulated hysteresis current control

a b s t r a c t
In this paper, a new reference current computation method suitable for shunt active power lter control
under distorted voltage conditions is proposed. The active power lter control is based on the use of selftuning lters (STF) for the reference current generation and on a modulated hysteresis current controller.
This active lter is intended for harmonic compensation of a diode rectier feeding a RL load under
distorted voltage conditions. The study of the active lter control is divided in two parts. The rst one
deals with the harmonic isolator which generates the harmonic reference currents and is experimentally
implemented in a DS1104 card of a DSPACE prototyping system. The second part focuses on the generation
of the switching pattern of the inverter by using a modulated hysteresis current controller, implemented in
an analogue card. The use of STF instead of classical extraction lters allows extracting directly the voltage
and current fundamental components in the axis without phase locked loop (PLL). The performances
are good even under distorted voltage conditions. First, the effectiveness of the new proposed method is
mathematically studied and veried by computer simulation. Then, experimental results are presented
using a DSPACE system associated with the analogue current controller for a real shunt active power lter.
2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Generally, harmonic currents are mostly generated by the AC/DC
power conversion units and the power electronic equipments, used
in domestic and industry applications. The harmonic currents are
the source of adverse effects for many types of equipments such
as heating in distribution transformer, perturbation of sensitive
control equipments and resonances with the grid.
Many solutions are proposed and studied in the literature to
compensate the harmonics such as ltering (passive, active, and
hybrid) with various topologies (shunt, series) for two-wire singlephase, three-wire three-phase and four-wire three-phase systems
[1]. These solutions have been proposed using current and voltage
source inverters to improve the mains power quality.
The passive ltering is a simple way to eliminate the harmonic
currents. However, it does not allow to completely eliminate all of
them and has many drawbacks such as series or parallel resonance
with the system impedance. Moreover, the compensation performances depend on the mains impedance. The active lters (series
and shunt) were also developed and widely used to overcome the

Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 3 83 68 41 31; fax: +33 3 83 68 41 33.

E-mail addresses: (M. Abdusalam), (P. Poure).
0378-7796/$ see front matter 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

drawbacks of the passive lters and improve power quality. As

well known, the parallel active lters are controlled to generate in
real time the harmonic currents produced by the non-linear loads
The performances of an active lter mainly depend on the reference current generation strategy. Several papers studied and
compared the performances of different reference current generation strategies under balanced, sinusoidal, unbalanced or distorted
alternating current (AC) voltages conditions [35]. In all of them,
authors demonstrated that under balanced and sinusoidal AC voltages conditions, the strategies such as the so-called pq theory and
Synchronous Reference Frame Theory (SRF) provide similar performances. Differences arise when one works under distorted and
unbalanced AC voltages. In real conditions, the mains voltages are
distorted, which decreases the lter performances [6]. In this case,
the pq theory performances are poor, from the harmonics point of
view, and the best results are obtained with the SRF. However, the
SRF theory requires a phase locked loop (PLL) which increases the
complexity of the control system: an additional card is usually used
and the controller implementation is more complex. In this paper,
we theoretically and experimentally studied a new reference current generation suitable for shunt active power lter control under
distorted voltage conditions by using self-tuning lters (STF) for the
reference current generation and a modied version of the classical
pq theory.


M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765

Fig. 1. Power system conguration.

The STF is dedicated to extract the fundamental component

directly from electrical signals (distorted voltage and current) in
reference frame. In the following, the frequency and dynamic
responses of the STF are mathematically analyzed and discussed.
The major advantages of the STF are cited hereby:

operating adequately in steady state and transient condition;

no phase delay and unity gain at the fundamental frequency;
no PLL required;
easy to implement in digital or analogue control system.

Fig. 2. Active lter system.

3. Control strategy
In this paper, we validated the STF performances in a real shunt
active power lter. A theoretical and experimental study of a threephase parallel active lter for harmonic compensation (Fig. 1) is
presented. Improved harmonic isolator based on STF and threephase modulated hysteresis current control are used. In Section 2,
the system conguration is presented. Then, in Section 3, the lter control strategy is discussed. We used STF instead of classical
harmonic extraction based on high pass lters (HPF) or low pass
lters (LPF). A focus is made on the STF performances by mathematical analysis under distorted voltage conditions. The current
controller is also presented [7]. In Sections 4 and 5, simulation and
experimental results are presented, respectively.

2. System conguration
Fig. 1 presents the shunt active lter topology based on a threephase voltage source inverter, using IGBT switches, connected in
parallel with the AC three-phase three-wire system through three
inductors LF . The capacitor C is used in the DC side to smooth the
DC terminal voltage. The non-linear load is a three-phase diode
rectier supplying a RL load. This load generates harmonic currents
in the supply system.
The proposed control strategy can be divided in two parts. The
rst part is the harmonic isolator (reference current generation). It
consists in generating the harmonic current references and uses STF
instead of HPF or LPF usually used in the pq theory rst proposed
by Akagi et al. [8]. This harmonic isolator will be implemented
into a DSPACE system (DS1104 card) in the experimental study. The
second part is the current control of the power converter. This controller generates the suited switching pattern to drive the IGBTs of
the inverter by using a modulated hysteresis current controller. In
the experimental study, this controller is implemented into an analogue card. Fig. 2 shows the schematic diagram of the active power
lter system.

3.1. General control principle

According to Fig. 2, the voltage vdc , the load currents iLa and
iLb , and the source voltages vsa and vsb of the three-phase threewire system are acquired and converted into digital signals at the
inputs of the DSPACE system by Analogue-to-Digital converters. The
sampling period for acquisition is equal to 30 s. The current iLc
is computed by iLc = (iLa + iLb ) and the voltage vsc is calculated by
vsc = (vsa + vsb ). Then, we apply a modied version of the pq theory
(see Section 3.3) developed in our laboratory for generating the
, i and i (see Fig. 2).
current references ifa
These digital references are the outputs of the DSPACE system
and are converted into analogue signals by Digital-to-Analogue
converters. By using an analogue card developed in our laboratory,
we generate the switching pattern for the inverter by implementing
the analogue modulated hysteresis current controller (see Section
3.2. Self-tuning lter
3.2.1. Principle and frequency response of the STF
Hong-sock Song studied the integration in the synchronous reference frame [9]. He demonstrated that:

Vxy (t) = e


ejt Uxy (t)dt


where Uxy and Vxy are the instantaneous signals, respectively before
and after integration in the synchronous reference frame. The previous equation can be expressed by the following transfer function
after Laplace transformation:
H(s) =

Vxy (s)
s + j
= 2
Uxy (s)
s + 2


M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765


sation. One can see that small value of K increases lter selectivity.
Dynamic response consideration is studied in the following section.
Thus, by using a STF, the fundamental component can be extracted
from distorted electrical signals (voltage or current) without any
phase delay and amplitude changing.
3.2.2. Dynamic response of the STF under distorted conditions
A three-phase distorted electrical signal x(t) can be expressed in
Fourier series by Eqs. (8a)(8c) as follows:
xa (t) = X1 sin(t + 1 ) +


Xh sin(ht + h )



Fig. 3. Self-tuning lter tuned to the pulsation c .

We think of introducing a constant K in the transfer function H(s),

to obtain a STF with a cut-off frequency c so the previous transfer
function H(s) becomes:
H(s) =

Vxy (s)
(s + K) + jc
Uxy (s)
(s + K)2 + 2

x (s) =

K(s + K)
(s + K)2 + c2

(s + K) + c2

x (s)
x (s) +

(s + K)2 + c2
K(s + K)

(s + K) + c2

x (s)


x (s)



Xh sin ht + h





Xh sin ht + h +




This three-phase signal can be transformed into the two-phase

reference frame by using the Concordia transformation:


2 1






From (8a)(8c) and (9), we obtained:

where x (s) and x (s) can either be a current or a voltage signal,

respectively before and after ltering (see Fig. 4).
Eqs. (4) and (5) can be expressed as follows:

x (t) =

X1 sin(t + 1 ) +

x (t) =

X1 cos(t + 1 )

Xh sin(ht + h )



Xh cos(ht + h )



[x (s) x (s)]
x (s)


x (s) = [x (s) x (s)] +
x (s)


x (s) =




xc (t)=X1 sin t + 1 +

By introducing the parameter K in H(s), the transfer function magnitude is limited and more particularly equal to one for = c .
Moreover, the phase delay is equal to zero for the cut-off frequency
c . By replacing the input signals Uxy (s) by x (s) and the output
signals Vxy (s) by x (s), the following expressions can be obtained:
x (s) =

xb (t) = X1 sin t + 1

The block diagram of the STF tuned at the pulsation c is

depicted in Fig. 3. Fig. 4 shows the frequency response of the STF versus different values of the parameter K for fc = 50 Hz. One can notice
that no displacement is introduced by this lter at the system pul-

By replacing Eqs. (10) and (11) after Laplace transformation into

Eqs. (4) and (5) and by applying the inverse Laplace transformation,
the following instantaneous expressions for the STF outputs are

x (t) =

X1 (1 eKt ) sin(t + 1 ) +



[sin(ht+h + arctan Ah )eKt sin(t + h + arctan Ah )]


x (t) =

X1 (1 eKt )cos(t + 1 )



[cos(ht + h +arctan Ah )eKt cos(t + h + arctan Ah )]


Fig. 4. Bode diagram for the STF versus pulsation for different values of the parameter K (fc = 50 Hz).

with Ah = (1 h)/K.
From the analytical Eqs. (12) and (13), we examined the dynamic
response and the inuence of the parameter K on the STF performances. The time constant of the STF is equal to1/K. Therefore, the
transient time is increased when K is decreased. Additionally, the
STF is stable for any positive value of the parameter K.
Also, the phase delay for the fundamental component is zero and
is approximately equal to 90 for the other harmonics. Moreover,


M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765

Fig. 5. Block diagram of the new STF-based harmonic isolator.

the STF reduces the amplitude of the harmonic components with a

gain equal to:
Gh =

1 + Ah 2

for h 1

K 2 + (1 h) 2


In Eq. (14), Gh denotes the harmonic gain. When h is equal to 1

(fundamental component), this gain is equal to 1. This performance
is illustrated by the frequency response of the STF shown in Fig. 4.

The load currents, iLa , iLb and iLc of the three-phase three-wire
system are transformed into the axis (see Fig. 5) as follows:

2 1








As known, the currents in the axis can be respectively

decomposed into DC and AC components by
i = i + i
i = i + i


Then, the STF extracts the fundamental components at the pulsation c directly from the currents in the axis. After that, the
harmonic components of the load currents are computed by
subtracting the STF input signals from the corresponding outputs
(see Fig. 3). The resulting signals are the AC components, i and i ,
which correspond to the harmonic components of the load currents
iLa , iLb and iLc in the stationary reference frame.
For the source voltage, the three voltages vsa , vsb and vsc are
transformed to the reference frame as follows:


2 1






Then, we applied self-tuning ltering to these voltage components. This lter allows suppressing of any harmonic component
of the distorted mains voltages and consequently leads to improve
the harmonic isolator performance.
After computation of the fundamental component v and the
harmonic currents i , we calculate the p and q powers as follows:
p = i v + i v

(instantaneous active power)


(instantaneous reactive power)


p = p + p
q = q + q


with p , q : fundamental components, p , q : alternative components

The power components p and q related to the same voltages
and currents can be written as follows:


3.3. Harmonic isolator

q = i v i v


v v
v v



After adding the active power required for regulating DC bus

voltage, pc , to the alternative component of the instantaneous real
power, p (see Fig. 5), the current references in the reference
, are calculated by
frame, i



v 2

+ v

v 2 + v 2

(p + pc )

(p + pc ) +


v 2 + v 2


v 2

+ v

With substitution of (21) into (22) and (23), we obtained:

= i +

= i +

v 2

+ v

v 2 + v 2





Current references obtained from Eqs. (24) and (25) include two
terms, the rst term contains the harmonic current components
and the second one is a fundamental current component in phase
with the supply voltage. Consequently, a small amount of active
power is absorbed from or released to the DC capacitor so as to
regulate the DC bus voltage. Then, the lter reference currents in
the abc coordinates are dened by





3 2




M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765


Fig. 6. Modulated hysteresis current controller.

Fig. 7. Reference and measured current.

3.4. Modulated hysteresis current controller

Consider now the current controller. With linear controllers
using pulse width modulation (PWM) techniques, a constant
switching frequency can be achieved and a well-dened harmonic
spectrum can be obtained, but with limited dynamic properties. Compared with linear controllers, non-linear ones based on
hysteresis strategies allows faster dynamic response and better
robustness with respect to the variation of the non-linear load
[7]. Nevertheless, with non-linear current controllers, the switching frequency is not constant and this technique generates a large
side harmonics band around the switching frequency. To x the
switching frequency, one solution could consist in using a variable
hysteresis bandwidth [7]. This solution which implies the knowledge of the system model and its parameters with enough precision
is difcult to implement experimentally. Here, we implemented a
non-linear current controller, so-called modulated hysteresis current controller [10].
Fig. 6 presents the modulated hysteresis current controller. The
principle of this controller consists in adding to the error signal
X (X = if if ) a triangular carrier signal (Tr ) with amplitude (Atr )

and period (T). The carrier frequency is chosen equal to the desired
switching frequency for the voltage inverter. The resulting signal
(H) constitutes then the new reference of a classical hysteresis controller with a bandwidth of 2Bh . The outputs of the hysteresis block
are the switching pattern.
In order to set the switching frequency in steady state, it
should exist during each switching period T, only two intersections
between the error X and the triangular signal: the rst one with the
higher limit of the hysteresis controller and the second one with its
lower limit (Fig. 7).
To control the active lter at xed switching frequency, the triangular signal amplitude Atr and the hysteresis bandwidth Bh for the
modulated hysteresis current controller must be carefully selected.
If these parameters are not well chosen, the effective switching frequency would be either higher or lower than the desired one set by
the triangular signal as illustrated in Fig. 8.
Shamsi et al. investigated a high frequency average model of the
controller to dene the suited parameters [10]. Thanks to a limit
orbit analysis, they demonstrated that with appropriate values of
Atr and Bh , irregular orbits can be avoided. For any value of the
load parameters, it has been shown that the current waveform is

Fig. 8. Examples of bad design of control parameters leading to: (a) switching frequency larger than the desired one; (b) switching frequency lower than the desired one.

Fig. 9. Simulation results for the phase 1 under sinusoidal voltage conditions: (a) load current; (b) supply current after compensation.


M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765

Table 1
Power system parameters.
System frequency
System voltage
Inductor: LF
Inductor: LC
DC bus voltage
Capacitor: Cd
Resistor: Rd
Inductor: Ld

50 Hz
130 Vmax
3 mH
0.8 mH
400 V
1100 F
40 mH

T-periodic (stable one-periodic orbit) when the parameters Atr and

Bh are correctly chosen [10].
3.5. DC bus voltage control
A DC bus controller is required to regulate the DC bus voltage
vdc and to compensate for the active lter losses. The measured
DC bus voltage vdc is compared with its reference value vdc . The
resulting error is applied to a proportional integral (PI) regulator. So,
the active lter can build up and regulate the DC capacitor voltage
without any external power supply.

Fig. 11. Experimental waveforms for the harmonic reference currents ifa
, ifb
and ifc

(5 A/div, 10 ms/div).

4. Simulation results
Fig. 9 shows the simulation results for the system depicted in
Fig. 2 under sinusoidal voltage conditions. The simulation parameters are dened in Table 1. They correspond to the experimental
parameters. The total harmonic distortion (THD) of the load current
is equal to 28.08%. The THD of the supply currents is reduced to 2.3%
(K = 80 for the STF) after compensation. A difference can be noticed
in Fig. 9 between the fundamental component of the load current
and the supply current. It is justied by the fundamental component of the lter current in phase with the supply voltage to regulate
the DC bus voltage. Fig. 10 illustrates the simulation results under
distorted voltage conditions. In this case the supply voltage is not
sinusoidal and includes a 5th harmonic component (THD = 9.96%).
The THD of the supply current under this condition is equal to 2.4%
after ltering. The simulation results verify the effectiveness and
performances of the proposed harmonic isolation under distorted
voltage conditions.
5. Experimental results
The experimental active lter was realized according to Fig. 2.
It consists in a three-phase source voltage inverter based on IGBT
power semiconductors. The harmonic isolator uses STFs and was

Fig. 12. Experimental results for the phase a, from top to bottom: load current iL
(A), lter current iF (A) and source current iS (A) (5 A/div, 10 ms/div).

described in the Section 3. The IGBTs are controlled by switching

pattern produced by the modulated hysteresis current controller.
The non-linear load is a diode rectier feeding a RL load and the
THD of the supply voltage is equal to 3.7%. The harmonic isolator
is implemented by using a DSPACE DS1104 development board. It
generates the harmonic current references. Fig. 11 shows the threephase harmonic current references generated at the output of the
DSPACE system.
The switching frequency of the power semiconductors is set at
20 kHz by choosing a suited triangular carrier signal at the same

Fig. 10. Simulation results for the phase 1 under distorted voltage conditions: (a) supply voltage; (b) supply current after compensation.

M. Abdusalam et al. / Electric Power Systems Research 79 (2009) 759765


Fig. 13. Harmonic spectrum of the source current: (a) before compensation; (b) after compensation.

Fig. 14. Experimental voltage vdc on the DC side of the inverter.

frequency. The amplitude Atr of this triangular signal is xed at

0.15 A and the bandwidth Bh is equal to 0.05 A [10].
Fig. 12 shows the experimental waveforms for the currents of
the studied system. The THD of the non-linear load iL is equal to
26% while it is equal to 2.5% for the source current iS after ltering.
Fig. 13 presents, for the phase 1, the harmonic spectrum of the
source current before and after active ltering. It demonstrates the
effectiveness and the efciency of the proposed control scheme.
Fig. 14 shows experimental results for the DC bus controller. The
voltage vdc on the DC side of the inverter is stable and regulated
around its reference.
With the modulated hysteresis current controller (Atr , Bh ), the
active lter generates the suited currents to efciently track the
references produced by the harmonic isolator. The use of the STF
directly after transformation in the control system allows us
to isolate the fundamental component of the supply voltages and
guarantees high performances to extract the AC components.
6. Conclusion
This paper has discussed the control and performances of a
shunt active power lter under distorted voltage conditions. The
hardware implementation has been performed based on the optimisation of the reference current generation and using a modied
version of the pq theory. The control of the active lter was divided
in two parts, the rst one realized by the DSPACE system to gen-

erate the reference currents and the second one achieved by an

analogue card for the switching pattern generation, implementing
a modulated hysteresis current controller.
Self-tuning lters have been introduced in the proposed modied version of the pq theory instead of classical extraction lters
(high pass and/or low pass lters) for both grid voltages and load
currents. The use of this lter experimentally leads to satisfactory performances since it perfectly extracts the harmonic currents
under distorted conditions. For the current controller, we implemented the modulated hysteresis current controller to obtain a
xed switching frequency for the IGBTs.
The simulation and the experimental results have demonstrated
and conforted the major advantages of using STF and modulated
hysteresis current controller in the lter control. In conclusion,
the proposed control for shunt active power lter is effective in
installation on an actual power system under distorted conditions.
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